This is complete defiance and total rubbish by the MACC as far as I am concerned - http://m.themalaysianinsider.com/articles.php?id=19095. Despite Mar 2008 GE results, it is clear NOTHING has really changed in Malaysia politics - if anything, things appear to be getting worse. Malaysians really have no choice come the next GE - even if all PR candidates were to be disqualified and they have to put up some monkeys against BN, there should be no contest.
MACC defends public disclosure of Khalid case
By Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) defended today the public disclosure that there was “strong evidence” of abuse of power against the Selangor Menteri Besar.
MACC deputy commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim said his boss was acting within the law when he made the statement to the media.
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is accused of abusing his powers to purchase cattle, which was distributed to mosques to his constituency, and to maintain his personal car.
The disclosure, which has been labeled as selective prosecution by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was made by MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan four days ago.
Abu Kassim said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2008 provided the powers to Ahmad Said to make the disclosure.
Section 29 (4) states that a report shall be kept secret and shall not be disclosed by any person to any person other than officers of the commission and the public prosecutor until an accused person has been charged in court for an offence under this Act or any other written law in consequence of such report, unless the disclosure is made with the consent of the public prosecutor or an officer of the commission of the rank of Commissioner and above.
“My interpretation of Section 29(4) is that the disclosure was made according to the law.”
When asked by The Malaysian Insider if the law allowed for the MACC chief to express his personal opinion to the press, Abu Hassan said he was not aware that Ahmad Said Hamdan statement was a personal opinion.
However two days ago, Minister in the Prime Minster Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz reportedly said (in The Star) that Ahmad Said Hamdan was only giving his point of view when he told the press they had sufficient evidence against Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and added that the Attorney-General’s Chambers will decide whether to press charges.
Meanwhile Abu Kassim said only new corruption cases will follow under the MACC Act, which came into effect this year.
Under the new procedures the outcome of all investigation will be forwarded both to the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, which is made up of esteemed members of the public, and the Attorney-General's Chambers.
“All cases which are closed will have to be tabled before the advisory board, who represent the public and we hope this will put a stop to allegations of bias.”
However he said previous corruption cases which occurred before the MACC Act came into force will be investigated according to old Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) procedures.
The MACC was officially launched by Prime Minster Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, at the Putra World Trade Centre, this morning.
During the launch Abdullah said he was confident the restructuring of the previous anti graft agency which had evolved into the MACC, would increase its effectiveness.
”The MACC is modeled after some of the best anti-corruption agencies in the world such as the Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption (ICAC) Hong Kong and the Independent Commission Against Corruption in New South Wales, Australia.”
1. I am dissappointed that the press still doesn't ask the right nor critical questions.
The right and critical approach is to first appreciate that Section 29(4) contains 2 approaches - the "Normal" approach and the "Special" approach. This is very clear from above that the "Normal" approach is for MACC to NOT disclose and to proceed charging in Court, whereas the "Special" approach is to do what MACC Commissioner did.
So, it is important to appreciate that MACC have a choice in deciding which approach.
And so, for Rakyat to have greater confidence in MACC's professionalism and independence, it is critical for Rakyat to understand under what circumstances and under what "principles" are the "Normal" approach not used, and the Exceptional approach used.
So, is this because Khalid is an MB, and an MB is deemed to be very important?
If so, will MACC then apply consistent standards to all MBs in the States, including highr ranking officers such as the PM, DPM, etc.?
If not, then, what is the criteria? Is the criteria because Khalid is a Pakatan MB, and this exception only applies to Pakatan States?
What is the conceptual principle that decides when the Special clauses are invoked, and when the Normal approach is used?
Suka suka invoke the Special Clauses?
Is this the primary purpose of Parliament in drafting laws? Is it to give certain people God-like powers where suka-suka, they invoke?
2. I have lived in both Australia and Hong Kong for over 7 years, and never once have I seen the NSW and HK Commissioners expressing their personal opinion in the same manner as Ahmad Said did 4 days ago against Selangor MB.
3. Technically, I do not deny that just looking at Section 29(4), the Law appears to have given GOD-LIKE powers to the Commissioner to say ANYTHING he likes to the press.
Four days ago, Ahmad Said exercised his God-Like power.
MAYBE, it's within the letter of the law, but does it follow the spirit of the law? Does it make it RIGHT?
Is it PROFESSIONAL?
And after this episode, do you perceive MACC to be independent now?
4. As I understand it, it involves Khalid using his own personal car for State use and thus require maintenance to be done by the State. He also directed State Funds to the tune of $100k to sembelih cows for a Rakyat's consumption for a once a year celebration.
Let me ask this simple question - who benefitted from Khalid's so called "abuse of power"?
He used his own car for State business - doesn't this already save the State some money?
The cows are not even for his own personal consumption! - I mean - how much beef can a person eat ???
Is this really so serious that the MACC Commissioner must urgently invoke the God-like Section 29(4) to make an exception to disclose to all Malaysians that Khalid is guilty when he is not even charged yet?
Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suggesting Khalid be let of. Far from it. Continue to investigate Khalid or any MB suspected of corruption. But, if I were running MACC, I would PRIORITIZE. If it has BIG $$$, then, I would want to be closely involved. If it has SMALL $$$, then, maybe this is something one could delegate for staff development, and can afford the normal channels.
And the audacity to declare that the MACC is modelled after the HK and Australia's Commisions ...
This is not even accurate, and by any imagination, stretches the truth by a long mile. MAYBE Malaysia might have borrowed a few parts here and there in writing the MACC legislation, but to imply it is on par with HK and NSW is utterly and completely MISLEADING and IRRELEVANT. I wouldn't even print that if I was the editor.
Anyone who has lived overseas long enough in either HK or Australia will immediately recognize the HUGE differences in this type of cases, between HK/Australia and Malaysia's MACC!
5. Doesn't the MACC have more serious corruption cases to pursue? Ones that involves hundreds of millions of $$$ if not Billions of $$$ of taxpayer's monies like the Port Klang Free Zone, the $500 Million+ Submarine maintainance contract, etc?
Why not use Section 29(4) exception against really serious alleged crimes that apparently involves the future Prime Minister?
Is corruption in Malaysia seriously limited to one car and a few cows?
What is happening to the Auditor General's reports on corruptions that are far larger than a Car and a few Cows?
Sadly, I don't see an end to this.
The only chance Malaysians now have to reclaim their country is through the next GE.
Even then, it is not clear if it will stop the rot.